Solar generator

jonyjoe101

Adventurer
I been using the enovate mobius, its not a true "solar generator" but the price is too good not to use these. It has the same power output as the goal zero and jackery type of power generators (10.8 volts). So far been using them almost 2 months and have been happy with them. You would have to supply your own inverter, 12 volt receptacle, and also you would have to supply your method to charge them. The connectors use on these are "atx 4pin cpu male to female pc cpu connector" you can find on ebay and amazon.
1 mobius is 26ah, 2 of them and you got 52ah (more power then a goalzero 400 (40ah). I got 12 of them in paralleled for a total of 312ah of real power. I tested one of them at 6 amp charge rate and 12 amp discharge rate. Connected together that increases the charge/discharge but haven't charged beyond 6 amps. But your not limited like the goalzero or jackery.
The only drawback so far I encountered is you need to have a very good method to charge these. My 240 watt panel is not getting it done. For the past 2 weeks my mobius batterybank has been limping along at 8 percent power (about 10 volts) but it still runs my 12 volt fridge(with a boost/buck converter) and my 200 watt inverter. Everyday I just charge barely enough to get me through another night. Next project is a larger solar panel.
You can find these on ebay, some in new condition never been used. I bought the new ones(old stock) 2x 75 dollars. Even the old ones I bought for 2x 65 still had at least 22ah (which was as far as I tested. Total I spent was about 450 dollars for the 12 mobius, you couldnt buy even 1x 40ah goalzero for that price.
You need a cc/cv 12.6 volt charger to charge these, each mobius has its own giant bms internally for over/under voltage protection. The lithium batteries use inside these powerpacks are top of the line panasonic or boston power cells. Nothing cheap about these powerpacks except the price.
As far as charging, these mobius augment my 220ah lifepo4 battery. When the sun is out I use a boost/buck converter set to 12.6 volts/6amps and charge from the lifepo4. I charge at 6 amps because my solar panel is maxing out at 9 amps and I also have to top off the lifepo4. Those who have a lead acid solar system, can use that to charge these.
1 12x mobius.jpg
 

kwill

Observer
One of the key factors that is often overlooked in reviews is the ability of these battery packs (i.e. solar generators) to accept a charge. Perhaps Jackery has addressed this in their newer models for many of their products were very slow to recharge, especially with solar panels. Another important issue to me is the units ability to accept a charge while also discharging. IOW can it function like a UPS for computer systems. I like to be able to plug my 12V fridge into in but also plug it into my truck so that it is charging while running the fridge.
 

grizzlyj

Tea pot tester
Deals this week on items called a solar generator by the manufacturer made me have another look.
Some of the smaller ones will only accept one 100W panel.
Bigger ones like 1500Wh could take 500W of solar but have quite small recharging current allowable from the mains which removes one of the good things about lithium, recharge time minimums.
And no apparent means of charging from a vehicle 12v system via a B2B type charger.
So could be better, like if I bought the bits seperately for a similar budget.
If I did that I might call it George instead. :)
 

dpike

New member
i've been back and forth about building my own or a plastic boxed one, i do have to say that the bluetti ac200p is as close to ideal as i think it gets for me. with an accessory fuse box hooked up to the high output port it almost seems like a simple no fuss system. price seems high, but start a custom build on a 2000Wh LifePo4 battery and see how quickly it passes the buy in price. i'm not 100% convinced that charging this beast from a cigarette lighter 80% of the time and throwing out a couple portable panels when camped will do the trick tho.
 

Steve F

Adventurer
So my camper has a 120AH Lithium battery in it but for the Jeep, or my daily, I have a small portable pack that just plugs into the 12v outlet in the back of the Jeep and runs the small 25lt Waeco compressor fridge (it will charge and output at the same time). This is purely so the fridge keeps running while we are on the beach, or walking some trails etc and the Jeep is off. It will also charge up my phone if I need to, or the drone batteries or even run some 240v devices (I'm in Australia). Basically it's perfect for what I need, run the small fridge for a day, light weight, quickly charged from solar etc. Much easier than putting a rarely used 2nd battery in the Jeep or daily just for days on the trail and longer stops to keep the fridge running.

Specs and details are here, 25AH doesn't sound like a lot but it's perfect as a day pack battery:-


Cheers
Steve
 

amccabe

New member
I am planning on the Bluetti AC200 with 600W of renogy panels wired in series for my power solution. I plan on just plugging into the 110V outlet on my Aliner. Will definitely run everything except maybe the AC but I am going to test once the "generator" comes in december.
 

Martinjmpr

Wiffleball Batter
First off, I agree that there's no need to be snarky with people who just want information. God forbid that Expo become a board like Pirate where "noobies" get savaged by the people who post there regularly.

Second, the misleading part is the manufacturer calling a battery a "generator." A battery doesn't "generate" anything, rather it STORES energy. As others have said, there have been a few people here who have tried different ones with different levels of success. It's an expanding market, which can be both a good thing (because competition will drive innovation) but also can be a bad thing because manufacturers who just want to make a quick buck can slap something together, sell it on Amazon for a few hundred bucks and walk away with the money, and then the user might be out in the boondocks when their battery fails or some other component goes awry and be stuck with what amounts to a giant paper weight or boat anchor.

With regard to something that actually generates power, i.e. a solar panel, we have been using a 100W folding suitcase-type setup for the past 3 years with our travel trailer. It has worked well in all kinds of weather. Ours is an HQST unit and it has worked well for our needs. We have camped for as long as 4 - 5 days and it's done a good job keeping the 2 x 6v golf cart batteries on our travel trailer charged up.

The one modification I made to our panel to make it "user friendly" was to put an SAE harness onto the back of the panel and an SAE harness onto the battery. That way I don't mess with alligator clips or uncovering the battery, literally the only thing I do is set up the solar panel, connect the SAE harness on the panel to the SAE harness on the battery with a 25' SAE extension cable and it's done.

Currently the solar power controller is mounted to the back of the panel. This is not ideal for two reasons: First of all, for best efficiency the controller should be mounted close to the battery, and second our solar controller is not rated as being waterproof (though it has been outside in the rain several times with no ill effects.) Eventually I'd like to get the controller mounted either inside the trailer or in a waterproof box on the tongue of the trailer, but I can testify that while our setup is far from "perfect" it's been "good enough" for the past 3 years.

Prior to the suitcase setup, I had a single Renogy 100w non-folding panel and a separate controller. While that worked OK, setting it up was a cumbersome PITA, whereas our current setup is a breeze. The convenience of a folding panel (with its own carrying case) and the controller being attached to the panel makes for a very quick, handy setup.

We camp a lot - typically 14 - 16 times a year, so convenience and ease-of-setup are important to us.
 

Graton

Member
I just asked a simple question to get some thoughts on what others might use. I'm not going to build anything, because I didn't build my truck or my camper. I bought them premade and plan to buy a pre made solar generator. Forgive me for not knowing the correct terminology, but you knew what I was referring to, so you and others "Here at ExPo" ...********...SMH...have used that term as well. I know what wattage needs I have just wanting opinions if there are units that worked better for one reason or another. That's all. As far as the unfriendly audience here at ExPo, lighten the ******** up.
Now that "irregardless" has be deemed acceptable by Merrian-Webster, I think all semantic debates should be deleted from threads - at least I never see any "what is overloading" on this forum. I don't even raise an eyebrow anymore when someone says "clip" instead of "magazine". I'm fine with the term "solar generator", and it was clear from your question what you were asking about.

But, to answer your question, I have two set-ups that I like. The first is a GZ-400 (wish I had the new 500) with a QZ foldable solar pack, which I use for my ARB 50qt fridge - I can run that for about 2 days depending on temps. I also have a dual battery set-up in my Tacoma with a 100 watt foldable Renogy solar panels for charging the house battery which also runs the fridge when needed, as well as a few accessories.

If I were starting over, I would might skip the dual batteries (though good for winch and other things), and get a larger capacity battery goal zero - the new 1500 is nice. Not a cheap way to go, but it is simple and effective.

Let us know what you decide upon.
 

D90Rovin

Observer
i've been back and forth about building my own or a plastic boxed one, i do have to say that the bluetti ac200p is as close to ideal as i think it gets for me. with an accessory fuse box hooked up to the high output port it almost seems like a simple no fuss system. price seems high, but start a custom build on a 2000Wh LifePo4 battery and see how quickly it passes the buy in price. i'm not 100% convinced that charging this beast from a cigarette lighter 80% of the time and throwing out a couple portable panels when camped will do the trick tho.
I’ve now been using the AC200P for about 2 months and it has been working great. I stopped charging it from my cigarette lighter because it kept blowing the fuse on our vehicle. It would actually charge pretty well from the CLA but it’s annoying replacing the $5 fuse.

The massive charger does charge it quickly so we just plug in once per week and that’s all we have needed. Have not needed to go solar yet.

I have one silly niggle that happens sometimes, I turn on the AC200P and the touch screen will take anywhere from 1-5 minutes to start working. Not sure why this happens so I reached out to Bluetti and they will switch it out our unit for another and provide a replacement.
 
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